Most Popular 10 Restaurant Franchise Businesses in USA for 2023

Update: 20.11.2021
Most Popular 10 Restaurant Franchise Businesses in USA for 2022

Despite having undergone a lot of challenges for the past few years, Restaurant franchise businesses are thriving. 2022 is supposed to be a good year for the industry in the USA. After having analyzed the list of the most popular Restaurant franchises for the upcoming year, we may confirm that the leading brands are the same as a couple of years ago.
A wonderful meal at an outstanding place may be an unforgettable experience. 58% of American adults eat at restaurants at least once a week, thus the business is growing. However, the competition on the market is really high. The statistic shows that in spring 2020, there were 660,755 restaurants in the country. Therefore, to start a successful restaurant able to compete on the market, the entrepreneur should consider a proven franchise. It has several benefits such as well-established business processes and a well-promoted brand name. We have prepared a list of the best restaurant franchises in the USA which you may find below.

Here are the most popular 10 restaurant franchise businesses in the USA

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom

Founded in: 1976
Franchising since: 2000
Franchise units: More Than 30
Investment Range: $1,399,000 - $2,177,000
Franchise Fee: $40,000
Royalty Fees: 4%

Old Chicago has built its foundation on being the Craft Beer Authority, great tasting pizza & beverages, passionate & knowledgeable employees, community and craft beer exploration. If you're looking for the best pizza restaurant franchise opportunities around, the Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom has exactly what you need. But there are some franchise requirements which include that franchisee must have 5 years developing and operating multi-unit ownership in the fast casual restaurant space with bar business.

Hwy 55

Founded in: 1991
Franchising since: 1993
Franchise units: 120+
Initial investment: $196,055 - $433,055
Franchise Fee: $25,000
Royalty Fees: 5%

Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries is a fast casual restaurant chain that operates primarily on the East Coast of the United States. The unique feature of the Hwy55 is that kitchens are open, whereby customers can watch cooks grill their food. At Hwy 55, company is building a team of franchisees that can still roll up their sleeves to build a business. Whether it's a single or multiple restaurants or building out a region, company’s entire team stands ready to help you meet your aspirations.

Pepe's Mexican Restaurants

Founded in: 1967
Franchising since: 1967
Franchise units: 45
Investment Range: $207,000 - $652,000
Franchise Fee: $15,000
Royalty Fees: 4%

Pepe's Mexican Restaurants are full service restaurants that offer casual family dining as well as carryout service. Pepe's Menu offers a broad selection of authentic Mexican style food made with great care and attention to detail. There are many ways to experience Pepe's food. Anyone can explore Mexican restaurant franchising opportunities with Pepe's, simply visiting their website.

Golden Corral Restaurants

Founded in: 1973
Franchising since: 1987
Franchise units: 400+
Investment Range: $2,168,419 - $6,602,5130
Franchise Fee: $50,000
Royalty Fees: 4%

Golden Corral is an American family-style restaurant chain serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, featuring a large all-you-can-eat buffet and grill offering numerous hot and cold dishes, a carving station, and their Brass Bell Bakery. Company has a healthy partnership with their restaurant operators built on trust, open communication and mutual success. The buffet was expanded in 2001 to include cooked-to-order sirloin steaks. Smaller restaurant designs are available for smaller markets.


Founded in: 1983
Franchising since: 1986
Franchise units: More than 225
Initial investment: $956,500 - $4,275,000
Franchise Fee: $75,000
Royalty Fees: 5%

Hooters is more than just a restaurant, it is a destination. Hooters offers the most richly-flavoured food, along with a wide array of drinks from their full bar, and the extremely accommodating and iconic Hooters Girls; all these combined is guaranteed to bring customers the greatest times.Wide selection of enormous burgers, tasty sides, and hearty salads allows them to have something for everyone. Candidates for franchise must have a minimum of five years of previous multi-unit restaurant experience, or have an operational partner that does.

Black Bear Diner

Founded in: 1995
Franchising since: 2002
Franchise units: More Than 70
Investment Range: $1,114,800 - $1,876,200
Franchise Fee: $55,000
Royalty Fees: 4,5%

Black Bear Diner is a restaurant chain in some the U.S. states which serves homestyle and "old-fashioned" comfort foods. Black Bear decor has a rustic motif with "over-the-top bear paraphernalia. Black Bear Diner is composed of a close-knit group of franchisees that company consider to be extended parts of their family. Being a franchisee comes with a lot of responsibilities, but the rewards are practically unlimited.

The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille

Founded in: 1976
Franchising since: 2003
Franchise units: 35
Investment Range: $1,455,000 - $2,702,500
Franchise Fee: $45,000
Royalty Fees: 4%

The Greene Turtle is more than a sports bar and grille. In The Green Turtle believe in being a community hangout for all ages that serves great food & drinks in a fun, casual atmosphere built on the excitement & unity of sports. Combining comfort food, a casual atmosphere and a sports bar theme marked by big screen TVs broadcasting local and national events, “The Turtle” has become a popular year-round destination where families, friends and fans of all ages feel at home. They began franchising in 2003, and initially expanded in the mid-Atlantic region.

The Melting Pot

Founded in: 1975
Franchising since: 1984
Franchise units: 110+ Worldwide
Initial investment: $1,473,938 - $1,650,428
Franchise Fee: $45,000
Royalty Fees: 5%

The Melting Pot is a chain of franchised fondue restaurants in the United States, Canada and Mexico, where guests can enjoy several fondue cooking styles and a variety of unique entrees, salads, and indulgent desserts. The Melting Pot franchises have been serving a variety of cheese and dessert fondues, salads and entrees including filet mignon, lobster tail, sirloin and chicken breast, all prepared in different fondue cooking styles. No restaurant experience is required to become a franchisee.

la Madeleine

Founded in: 1983
Franchising since: 2011
Franchise units: 48
Initial investment: $390,000 - $2,885,000
Franchise Fee: $20,000 - $40,000
Royalty Fees: 5%

La Madeleine is a restaurant chain with casual French home atmosphere in the U.S. states. Food is served cafeteria style for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Since opening the doors of it’s first location in 1983, la Madeleine has grown from a single local bakery to a beloved French café concept with approximately 85 locations nationwide. Their plan is to continue growth with new cafés in their existing markets, as well as in new franchise markets.

Southern Fried Chicken

Founded in: 1975
Franchising since: 2000
Franchise units: 75
Initial investment: From $65,000
Franchise Fee: $20,000 - $131,000
Royalty Fees: $780 per month

Southern Fried Chicken is a British-based fast food outlet which operates a franchise network in the United Kingdom and worldwide. Southern Fried Chicken offers all franchisees who interested in fried chicken business and QSR (quick service restaurant) the opportunity to join a growing family of restaurants offering increasingly popular and famous chicken dishes.


To summarize, we can say any of the listed above restaurant franchises is worth buying. But there is a lot to consider while choosing the best one for you. Pay attention to the reputation of the brand, what training and support are offered, check if the other franchisees are successful. But the main thing you need to do is to align your budget with investment requirements of the brand. In order to ease the challenge, we have made the comparison flowchart of the best restaurant franchises in the USA for you. It shows the minimum estimated initial investment and initial franchise fee of each brand. By using it, you can figure out the difference in financial requirements for each franchise, and decide which one fits you the most.

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